ADAM Cope’s championship hopes are over for the season after being eliminated in the last four for the second year – by the same opponent.
The Hartlepool teenager had gone into the England Youth Championship semi-final against talented Scouser Peter McGrail in good heart.
Cope had won his first national title last December when he lifted the National Championship for Young People’s title and then roared through the Youth rounds in style.
But the 17-year-old, beaten by McGrail in Birmingham 12 months ago in the Junior ABA semis, was outpointed again, this time in the Liverpool southpaw’s backyard at the Croxteth Leisure Centre.
Gus Robinson Developments coaches Tony Martin and Wayne Short thought Cope had done enough to win.
“It was a unanimous decision, but we all thought it was a close fight which could have gone Adam’s way,” Short told SportMail.
“Adam lost the first round but came right back into it in the second and we felt he dominated the third.
“Whenever Peter hit him the crowd were obviously jumping up and down and going berserk.
“Last year, Adam was undone by the straight left but this time, Peter was spinning away and catching him with a right hook.
“But it as more a slap to the side of the head and really shouldn’t have been scored.
“Adam was all over him in the last but he didn’t get the decision which was disappointing.”
Two of Cope’s young Gus Robinson Developments team-mates have started their boxing careers with victories.
Dylan Skedd won in impressive style on his debut at Consett.
Taking on East Middlesbrough’s Kyle Meads at the Royal Derwent Hotel, the 12-year-old came forward throughout to get a split decision against the Boro southpaw.
“It was a split decision but he deserved it,” said Short. “He never stopped coming forward and we have high hopes for Dylan.”
Team-mate Darren Coombs was also a winner on the same show held to celebrate Glenn McCrory’s world title success 25 years ago.
Coombs beat Shildon’s Ethan Swales, also on a split decision.
“It was a good bout,” said Short. “Daz was the more accurate, his counter-punches won him the contest.”
Gus Robinson Developments ABC’s second debutant of the week was Ben Mincher.
And, like Skedd, he too began with a win against David Softly, from Washington ABC.
The 13-year-old Hartlepool teenager gave Softly standing eight counts in each of the first two rounds on the way to a unanimous points verdict.
“It was a very good debut,” Short said. “The other kid came back into it in the last round but Ben as a worthy winner.”
Making his second ring appearance in quick succession, Skedd was outpointed by Lambton Street’s Dylan Deehan at the Steels Social Club, in Sunderland.
“Deehan got it on a unanimous decision, but it was close,” said Short. “Dylan gave a good account of himself.”